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Posted 09/22/2020 in Christian Mental Health Tips

A Christians Guide to Self-Compassion


A Christians Guide to Self-Compassion

Bible Verse for Self Compassion in the Bible

If your child, spouse, or best friend made a mistake, would you keep reminding them of it? Would you constantly tell them that they're useless and they don't deserve to try again and do better? No, right? There's no way you would do that to someone you love. 

 

No matter what happened, if you saw them feeling bad about something, you would go out of your way to encourage them. You'd be compassionate towards them. You'd do everything you can to help them feel loved, accepted, and understood.

 

Why then, is it so hard for you to do the same for yourself?  If you make the same mistake, why do you continue to beat yourself up about it?   Why do you think it's okay to be less compassionate towards yourself than you are with your loved ones? 

 

God loves you and just like you don't want to see the people you love wallowing in self-pity and negativity, He doesn't want to see you that way. This is why recognizing and internalizing the love and acceptance God has for you is important. Self-compassion is important.


What is Self-Compassion Christianity?

Christian definition of self-compassion Like this content on FacebookSelf-compassion is the ability to understand, accept, love, and be kind to yourself.  In the midst of trouble, failure, or deep regret, it is the tool God gave you to continue running this race called life.


You will make mistakes. You will fail sometimes, it’s inevitable. But wallowing in self-pity and beating yourself up about it won't change a thing. In fact, it might make matters worse.


On the other hand, being self-compassionate has the power to change everything. It won't just change your perspective; it will fuel your faith and motivate you to keep going.

 

It will help you realize that your mistakes are just mistakes and they don't define you. It will help you fix your problems without assuming you need to fix yourself. 

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Is Self-Compassion Biblical?

We all know that compassion is Biblical, Jesus was always compassionate. Whether it was towards the poor, the sick, or the sinners, He always exuded compassion.  We also know He called us to do the same. It's the reason we try our very best to be understanding, loving, and kind towards other people.  Consider the below self-compassion Bible verses: 


The Bible instructs us to "clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience" (Col 3:12, NIV). And that compassionate and kind attitude should be aimed both within (self-compassion) and outward (compassion).


Similarly in Mark 12:31, Jesus tells us to love our neighbors as ourselves. How can we possibly love our neighbors if we don't love ourselves? How can we possibly be compassionate towards others if we're never compassionate towards ourselves?

 

You can’t pour out something you don’t have within. So being compassionate towards your neighbor has to begin with compassion towards yourself.

 

One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’

The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

Mark 12:28–31

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Examples of Self-compassion in The Bible

There are many examples of self-compassion in the Bible. Moses, David, and Paul murdered people only to realize that they shouldn't have. There is no way they could have moved on in life and fulfilled their purpose if they didn't have self-compassion.  These men trusted God to redeem them of their sins and did not let their mistakes and negative self-talk cost them their destiny.


Peter also had self-compassion after he denied Jesus. When Jesus came out of the tomb, Peter didn't run away in shame, instead, he ran to Him with love. He knew he made a mistake but he also knew that he loved Jesus and Jesus loved him, his mistake didn't change that.

 

There are many more examples of people in the Bible practicing self-compassion. However, there are also examples of people who didn't, Judas is one of them.   Judas betrayed Jesus and just like Peter was forgiven, he would have been forgiven too.  But he didn't give himself a chance, he killed himself because he attached his mistake to his identity.



How Can Christians Practice Self-compassion?

As a Christian, the best way to practice self-compassion is to see yourself through God's eyes. He never attaches what you did to who you are.  God saw every move you have ever made and every mistake you’ve ever committed and loves you despite it all. He loves you because He created you and He knows you. 

 

So the first step to practicing self-compassion is to become more self-aware. Spend time with yourself, journal, read the Bible, discover who God says you are.  Observing a day of rest is a great way to focus on these tasks.  Once you know who you are, remind yourself of it as much as possible. So when things go wrong, self-compassion is your automatic first response.

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A Prayer for Self-compassion

Dear God,


I pray for self-awareness today, please show me who you created me to be.  Help me to love, understand, and accept myself, despite my flaws and mistakes. Show me how to love myself like you love me. 


I desire to run the race you've set before until I reach the finish line and I know for that, I will have to practice self-compassion over and over again.


Please comfort me and help me to practice self-compassion. Lord, it's not easy to forget the things I've done but I know that You already have. 


Help me to receive the grace You've freely given me through your Son, Jesus Christ. I pray that I can love myself and my neighbors the way you want me to. May all that I do bring glory back to you.


Thank you for your love, for forgiveness, for grace, and for hope. I am forever grateful, in Jesus' name, Amen.

 



If you've tried to be more compassionate towards yourself and continue to struggle with it due to low self-esteem, consider seeking Christian counseling. God is always ready to comfort you but it is up to you to embrace that comfort and allow it to flow through you.

 

Remember, you can't pour from an empty cup, take care of yourself first, and let it overflow into the lives of everyone around you.  If you find yourself struggling with self-compassion consider talking to a local Christian life-coach or Christian therapist near you by searching our directory.  

If you enjoyed the above prayer, you can download it as a phone wallpaper here:  self-compassion prayer phone wallpaper  (note, you can use it anywhere, not just your phone to remind yourself to pray for self-compassion. 


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About the Author: 

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Description automatically generatedCorine Williams, Ph.D. is Clinical Psychologist that is currently seeing clients through www.doctorondemand.com.  However, her passion is to write books that educate, uplift, and help provide parents with a tool to talk about difficult subjects. You can find out more about her at  www.booksbycorine.com or by visiting her amazon profile here: https://www.amazon.com/Corine-Hyman/e/B00AWZ5FL2


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Disclaimer: the information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this article are for informational purposes only. No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are looking for a Christian counselor near you, please check out our directory located here:  Christians Therapist Near Me.




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